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Lloyd leads USWNT to win over Germany to seal spot in World Cup final


Photo by Michael Chow/USA Today Sports


After limping through a majority of the Women’s World Cup, the U.S. Women’s National Team saved its best performance of the tournament for the semifinal showdown against the world’s No. 1 team.

Carli Lloyd provided a finish from the penalty spot before Kelly O’Hara added insurance, as the U.S. grabbed a 2-0 victory over top-ranked Germany in Tuesday night’s Women’s World Cup semifinal at Olympic Stadium in Montreal.

Lloyd’s winner, which marked her third straight game with a goal, came just moments after seeing a Germany penalty kick go wide.

With the victory, the U.S. advances to Sunday’s tournament final. The Americans will meet the winner of Wednesday’s semifinal match-up between Japan and England.

The U.S.’s decisive tally in the 69th minute came via controversial fashion. Running straight at the Germany defense, Alex Morgan was taken down by Germany defender Annike Krahn just outside the box. The USWNT was awarded a penalty kick nonetheless, and Lloyd stepped up to the spot and smashed her shot to the top right corner.

That advantage was doubled in the 84th minute by substitute O’Hara, sealing the U.S. victory. After seeing Lloyd dust her defender on the left side of the penalty area, O’Hara made a streaking run through the box, tapping the ball into an open net to secure the result.

Germany’s best chance came in the 60th minute. U.S. defender Julie Johnston made her first misstep of the tournament by conceding a penalty kick in the 60th minute. Johnston was fortunate to only escape with a yellow card.

Germany forward Celia Sasic stepped up to claim the ensuing spot kick, but had to wait a bit before taking it as U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo took her time to get on the line in a demonstration of gamesmanship.

Sasic eventually pushed the shot wide, marking the first time that Germany missed a World Cup penalty kick in 13 attempts.

Lloyd and O’Hara proceeded to score, sending the Americans to the tournament final in Vancouver.

The U.S. nearly found the back of the net on a couple of occasions earlier in the game. Just seven minutes in, the USWNT tested Nadine Angerer via a corner kick, forcing the Germany goalkeeper to make a kick save on a Johnston header.

Angerer came up big yet again just seven minutes later, stopping Morgan on a one-on-one opportunity to keep Germany in it early.

Morgan provided yet another chance just two minutes before the half, lifting the ball over her defender before shooting up and over Angerer.

None of it matter, as the USWNT found a pair of goals and posted yet another cleansheet to extend its shutout streak to 513 minutes.


  1. The night before the match I went out for a walk here in Lawrence, KS where I am visiting friends and family. As we strolled through this quiet residential neighborhood full of beautiful homes and gardens I spied a sleek black cat stretched out peacefully atop someones garden fence.
    The number of the house was 2408.
    So, I interpreted that as a good omen (the cat did not get up and cross my path!). As I studied the numbers on the fence post I determined that that the US would be up 2-0 in the 84th minute.
    They scored the 2nd goal at 83:49.

    What a game from Jersey girl Carli Lloyd. Awesome.
    Love it.
    Go USA! You gonna be world champions!

  2. Germany came out of the gates disciplined, tactical, and compact in the first 10 minutes or so. The US got compact on defense and held them off in the first 10 minutes. Germany never really found a solution after that. The US played relentless medium range crosses into the penalty area from the wings. It was nonstop cross after cross. Germany could not cope on the wings. After the US began to change direction on the dribble (from German defensive pressure) they took over possession.

    I am a big supporter of compact soccer. If the US is going to go with the same game plan of bombing down the wings and crossing the ball the US has to get at least 3-4 players into the penalty area. For example 2 forwards, 1 Attacking Midfielder, and 1 Winger. Nothing wrong with a cross, but hey, let’s improve the odds of getting a head or foot on the end of it or a loose ball and into the back of the net.

  3. I have to say, Morgan Brian impressed the hell out of me last night. Her calmness on the ball under pressure, her ability to make the correct choice with her passing and her defensive presence, which allowed Lloyd to get forward and freed up Holiday, were all so, so good. And while the concussion protocol leaves something to be desired, she showed incredible toughness.

    Tons of credit to Ellis for having the wherewithal to make the line-up change and to put this team in a position to succeed. We were aggressive, we attacked with purpose, we pressured relentlessly and, save for one momentary lapse of reason from JJ in an otherwise great performance, we were yet again dominant defensively.

    When this team is on the front foot, when the pedal is to the floor for 90 minutes like it was last night….they’re something else. Not as technically sound as Japan and not as individually brilliant as France, but enough of those elements that when you combine them with our speed and athleticism, man…

    I’ll say this – whether we’re the best team in the world is certainly up for debate. But if we’re playing like we did last night, I’ll take our chances against anyone, anywhere.

  4. Random thought I had — Did anyone else see a similarity in the Johnston foul (yellow card) last night and the Rachel Buehler found (red card) against Brazil 4 years ago? I’m not complaining… just thought they were the exact same situation.

    • we know Rachel likes to down jerseys but marta flopped. The crowd in that game, mostly german fans booed the whole thing… the flop, the red, the penalty, and retaking of the penalty.

  5. The better team won plain and simple. This team is so deep and versatile and Ellis seems to be grasping this. I did question why you would bring in Abby (love the hell out of her) with a lead. It worked though. And O’Hara’s goal was not a tap in as stated in the article. It was a volley off of a great ball. She mad the perfect run inside the defender and reacted in a split second to put a boot on it. It was a helluva soccer play. I hope we play Japan. They will certainly pose a threat. They are a lot more fleet of foot than the Germans were. Ellis will have to keep making the right moves in order to beat them. Me thinks she will.

  6. Germany’s chance of winning consisted of Julie Johnson, the team MVP, making a mistake and taking very long shots at the best keeper.
    That D that Ellis leads is unbelievable. Hopefully they shut them down in the next round. MVP better go to a player on the D side of the ball.

  7. Best I’ve seen them play in a while. Congratulations to the team, they looked like the belong in the final. It is great that they showed up when they needed to. Fun to watch. That second goal was great, and boy the defense has been lights out. Looking forward to the next challenger!

  8. I’ve been critical of the USWNT midfield play for a long time now. My apologies ladies, you’ve destroyed my hypothesis that the midfield play has left something to be desired. The last two games; very good.

    • With all due respect to Ellis for making needed changes, it took a lot of public criticism from people like Tony D and Eric Wynalda and two yellow card suspensions for her to go there. I give her a lot of credit for selecting Ohara over HAO and pulling Wambach. I didn’t think she had it in her to keep her from starting in a key match.

  9. This game exposes Germany as a paper tiger.

    They score 10 goals in one game against an African team than had no business being in the World Cup and then beat up a couple of minnows.

    As soon as they see a good team like Norway they can’t get a result.

    Then against elite teams line France and the US they get one goal in 210 minutes.

    China and Columbia defended better atgainst the US.

    USA USA.

    We will most likely face Japan but I would not mind kicking Englands teeth in

  10. Early on in the tournament I was preaching patience. I wrote that there was no reason to panic and that the US defense was good enough to make the difference. I don’t want to say I told you so, well , on the other hand, to all those doubters, I told you so. You know the old saying that it’s better to be lucky than good? Well tonight the US was both and got the result they really deserved.

  11. excellent tactics from Ellis

    3 major aspects I noted

    1. bucket 4-3-3 playing out of the back
    2. classic 4-4-2 shape defensively
    3. attack the midfield turnovers and go forward hard looking to score

    and Brian was the puppet master as the d mid, awesome awesome game from her, pulled many strings

    come on!!! one more time!

  12. it could be a rematch of 2011… USA-Japan…

    The US has upgraded its defense to an elite, disciplined unit, it is a luxury that Engen (another outstanding CB in this cycle) hasn’t even played a minute in this WC. Gone are the nerve-wreaking days of Rampone, Buehler as starting CBs. The fullbacks are doing a very good job, especially Kling…not too convinced on Krieger but O’hara can be a sub on the left or right without missing much.

    The US offense has a lot more weapons this time around, Leroux, Press. Certainly, Wambach is slower but Alex Morgan is now more experienced.

    Japan is also more experienced but the USWNT should prevail on Sunday.

  13. If USA wins the final and Lloyd is influential in the match,….methinks we are about Lloyd in the same breath as Akers and Hamm.

    • I think a lot of people owe an apology to Ellis. I have been critical of her too, but she has been very pragmatic about this tournament. I think she realizes that she may not have the best team, but she knows that she can win it all if they play defense and play to their strengths. I never would have thought that she would have switched to a 4-2-3-1 for Germany. Thought that she was too stubborn with the Holiday/Lloyd midfield. It worked great. The US was the better team by far save for about 10 minutes near the start of the second half. Sometimes it is not pretty, but they are getting the job done. Can you say that Ellis is Jose Mourinho-ish??? Lots of credit to Lloyd for smashing that penalty and creating the cushion goal. On to Sunday.

  14. Hats off to the USWNT. Truly played exceptionally well tonight to neutralize the Germans and were lucky to get a fortunate call. The Germans truly had been the team of the tournament up until tonight, but if this is what the USA side can do when firing on all cylinders, I really like their odds against Japan.

    • I’ll admit I haven’t seen much of Germany in this tourney, but their group stage thrashings and a draw to Norway weren’t really anything special. They had moments, but they, like the US seemed to be under-performing (though +14 GD can hide that). Not sure any team has really stood out as a top performer.

      This will be a tourney with no real dominant team.

      • Are we talking 1999 dominance? No, the women’s game and teams around the world have evolved.

        BUT 513 minute shut out streak in a World Cup? (5 shutouts)
        Teams have barely had sniffs on goal.

        No question, that is defensive dominance.

        Germany’s offensive stats were certainly bloated by the fact they had the fortunate game vs. Ivory Coast and had 10 goals in one game.

        Now, let’s hope this win vs. Germany was not an emotional peak and the team is not complacent in the final

      • France went +3-2=0 in the event. The “looked dominant” but the US looks like a rag tag bunch of middle school tree climbing tomboys and are +5-0=1

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